I turn dials and fiddle with knobs to hone in on harmonic rotations
Joined Oct 26, 2011
3,904 Blog Posts

USA bombards Iranian Major General, but has anything changed? Here is the morning NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into the second trading day of 2020 down a quick -95 after a hectic trading session featuring extreme range and volume.  Price marked a new all-time high briefly overnight, drifting a few points above 8900 before news hit the wires late in the evening the President Donald Trump successfully bombarded and killed Qassem Soleimani, Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and from 1998 until his death, commander of its Quds Force, a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.  The news collapsed price back down into the thick of Thursday’s auction where price action balanced out for a few hours before continuing its campaign lower around 2:30am New York.  Price traded nearly down to the closing print of 2019 before a responsive bid stepped in.  As we approach cash open, price is hovering just below yesterday’s low.

On the economic calendar today we have ISM employment/manufacturing along with construction spending at 10am, followed by crude oil inventories at 11am.  Energy traders are likely to pay closer attention to the oil reserves ahead of a perceived uptick in middle eastern tensions.  Then at 2pm we have FOMC meeting minutes out, minutes from their December rate decision.

Yesterday we printed a normal variation up that trended higher into the close.  The day (year) began with a gap up and drive higher.  Buyers pressed up beyond record highs during the open and sustained trade above it for about 20 minutes before responsive buyers stepped in.  Higher timeframe participants were active, as seen in the way the auction crossed back-and-forth several times across the daily midpoint.  The sellers briefly pressed below the opening print and daily low but before they could go range extension down responsive buyers (responsive relative to Thursday’s open, initiative relative to Tuesday’s close) stepped in and worked price range extension up.  From there price drove higher, exploring open air right up into the close.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for sellers to reject a move back into the Thursday low 8802.25 setting up a move down through overnight low 8735.25.  Look for buyers down at 8722.75 and two way trade to ensue.

Hypo 2 stronger sellers trade down to 8715.75 before two way trade

Hypo 3 buyers reclaim Thursday low 8802.25 and set their sights on 8837.25.  We chop around at these levels, stalling between 8842 and 8800 into the weekend.

Hypo 4 full-on liquidation. Higher time frame sellers rip through several support levels, pausing at 8600 and then again at 8546.50.  This is the only scenario where “something has changed”.  Otherwise the prevailing conditions (rally) continue.


Volume profiles, gaps, and measured moves:

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NASDAQ up a quick +70 into 2020, here is the Thursday trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into the first trading day of 2020 gap up after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume.  The overnight session featured a slow, unidirectional move higher, with price rallying up near all-time record highs but stalling just before taking them out.  As we approach cash open, price is hovering near the highs.

On the economic calendar today we have manufacturing PMI at 9:45am followed by 4- and 8-week T-bill auctions at 11:30am.

On the last trading day of 2019, New Year’s eve, the NASDAQ printed a normal variation up.  The day began with a gap down inside range that buyers quickly resolved with a drive higher on the open.  From there price rotated back down though the daily midpoint before chopping along it for many hours.  Then we ramped higher into the close, making a new daily high and closing near session high.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to gap-and-go higher, trading up through overnight high 8831 to tag 8842.25 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers trade up to 8900 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 sellers work into the overnight inventory and take out overnight low 8769.50 on their way to close the 2019 open gap down to 8766.  Look for buyers down at 8748 and two way trade to ensue.


Volume profiles, gaps, and measured moves:

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What it means when silver and gold lead the rally

You can read the title of this blog two ways—silver and gold lead (like leader) or lead like the heavy metal that is nearly worthless and sinks easily. Like Led Zeppelin. I was a huge Led Zeppelin fan when I first started college. I thought their music was edgy and heavy and much better than the prevailing rap of the mid-2000s, which was more-and-more fake gangster and often corny.

Now I am back mostly listening to hip hop, in thanks to a major resurgence of drug dealer rap and of course the wisdom and philosophy NAS. You can learn more about trading and investing from Benny the Butcher than you will from any blogger on fintwitter (save yours truly).

Anyways now when I listen to Led Zeppelin their music all sounds a bit desperate and corny. Funny how perceptions change yes yes?

So when it comes to silver and gold we know one thing and one thing only. They derive their value from little more than human perception and for some reason, these metals in particular have historically driven humans to commit wonderful and horrific acts.

I suppose it’s because gold and silver are so shiny, like fishing lures.

My only memento from my Italian grandmother, whom I only met a handful of times since she lived in Italy and I lived in AMERICA, is a gold chain with a gold lowercase letter-t charm on it. If you ask most people they will say that letter-t charm is a cross, and most would say it is a Christian cross.

Again. Perceptions.

To me it is nothing more than a charm on a chain that reminds me of a grandma I hardly knew. If I forget to take it off and go swimming in the ocean, it attracts large fish near my neck.

Not the best idea.

In general, silver and gold have a high risk of corrupting the mind and creating dangerous tendencies in humans.

So when silver and gold outperform all other industry groups, like they did last week while most Americans celebrated pagan x-mas, it makes me want to pack up a few vital survival items (along with my snowboard of course) and head west—as far north and to as high an altitude as my constitution allows. To a remote outpost where I can eat canned fish, drink hooch, and observe the foolishness of the collective human conscience from a distance.

One of the main intentions I have been meditating on these last few months is patience. Another is kindness because I have struggled with both in the past. Lately I am feeling patient and kind but also a bit too tame. There are certain matters that require bravery and action.  And after spending much of December meditating on mortality here on the old Raul blog, the matters requiring bravery have become clear.

Maybe that is why now, at 7:36am on Sunday I have already updated all my trading models for the week and am rounding the bend on another abstract entry to my public blog.

Maybe it requires bravery to not trade the upcoming week and instead focus on some more pressing matters. Or perhaps I need to hunker down and work my signals. Or perhaps the bravest move of all is to run for the hills.

I shall watch the sunrise and consider all these options.


Raul Santos, December 29th, 2019

Exodus members, the 267th edition of Strategy Session is live. In Section III where I usually phone in a blurb about how to use Exodus better, I wrote about a topic none of my mentors could every clearly convey to me. I did my best to convey it to you. If you have any questions about the codification I reference, let me know.

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Research is live, time to live

Of course I made time to update the IndexModel and publish my latest findings to the Exodus Strategy Session. The difference between me and your run of the mill W2 employee is that I work every day, seven days, no matter what pagan holiday arises. Then sometimes I vanish into the wild for weeks on end, cut free from the chains of modern W2 slavery.

I may find some WIFI at a trade post and send a few emails and receive updates from my vital foot soldiers and correspondents.

This is the mark of a quality life. Time and again I remind the readers of this old Raul blog that time is our most finite resource. I choose to use it as carefully as I can TODAY, so I can look back and see that I’ve done my best to live life to the fullest—cultivating the experiences and routines that are the mark of a life well lived.

So of course I had to update the IndexModel. It signaled extreme rose colored sunglasses, a bullish bias indicator, for a fourth consecutive week. An observation I have made, over the last 200 weeks or so, is that after four consecutive weeks of this indicator firing there is a tendency for a rug pull, a down move, a hard sell.  This is still an observation lacking statistic significance.  We will need at least 50 samples before we can make a confident forecast.

And since it requires the signal to fire four consecutive weeks in row, to make ONE of these samples, it make take a few years before we can take action based off of it.

I am so fucking patient. I train my physical body three-to-four times a week to keep it limber and running well. I excercise my mind to stay present and able to make sound reasoned choices. For me, trading is the ultimate vocation, one that requires every bit of human ability to succeed.

I am just getting started.

My idea has always been that by journalling my path through becoming a competent and perhaps one day master trader here on the internet, that it will inspire others to trade well.  Because I feel like the more apt traders the world has, the safer it becomes. Free markets are the collective voice of reason in a world ever more consumed by bullshit.

I love seeing another American president be impeached. Every impeachment should serve as a reminder to rely on your own critical thinking and abilities.

My stated goal is simple—to extract as many fiat american dollars as possible from the global financial complex.  As it becomes availble, said fiat will be converted into land as far north and at as high an alititude as my constituton allows.  There I will invest into cement and greenhouses and solar panels and batteries and other methods of becoming fully self-sufficient before the United States throws The Great Temper Tantrum after realizing they’ve lost reserve status to the Chinese.

For now, I will focus my time back on family and friends and the surrounding community, the true mark of a life well lived, how we nurture these relationships.

If you’ve been dropping by the old blog here for the last year, reading my Sunday diatribes, thank you. Your readership means so much to me. I hope that something I’ve rambled on about, over this year has inspired you to be a brave and patient and kind speculator, set on winning.


Raul Santos, December 22nd, 2019

Exodus members, the 266th edition of Strategy Session is live, go check it out!

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There is nothing to do here

The folks who follow along with my ongoing murmurs over on twitter are some of the finest in the land. They stuck with me through my days as a tin-hatted conspiracy theorist and maintain their following despite my transition to a Tesla cult member.

One thing is they’ve come to expect constant trading from me. Which is fine. I am a rare profiteer amid a mass of needy financial advisors, advisors who are about as familiar with trading for profit as they are courting fast women. Fintwitter is not a place for me. I’ve realized that. Nobody wants to discuss the merits of faithful long-term investing or the meticulous planning that goes into short-term execution. They want to be handed fish, one after another, in the form of wonton ticker selections.

I will have no part in stock picking, stock trading, or any of that fickle behavior. I actively trade one instrument. You would think, after all these years, that would be apparent.

If there is nothing to do than I shall do nothing. It seems to me, from the vantage point of a self-sufficient speculator with over 1,500 square feet of private headspace, that most of yous suck the most at doing nothing.

Doing nothing is an art, and when done well, it allows the universe to whisper its secrets into your ear.

Like sipping tea and staring at the sky, to catch that fleeting winter moment when the sun peaks through and washes over the fan leaves of houseplants, and how that looks. Or the way a lyric from a song seems to leap out of the noise and pierce your soul.

I am of the belief that the universe is constantly communicating with us in a playful way. But only if you listen.

If you are plagued by the hurrying syndrome, ordering your coffee via app to save two minutes of standing in quiet meditation, so caught up in the mental shit storm of thoughts, “am I a good boy?” “will my project reap blessings?” “will I receive the credit I deserve?” “why do my organs hurt so badly?” “am I disappointing my family?” then the likelihood of picking up on these divine messages is low.

So to answer your question, no, I will not resort to chasing momentum stocks or trading a balanced market at all time highs. I am not a monkey sent here to dance for you.

I will instead read fiction, take naps, casually stroll around the grocery market admiring the colorful fruit and in general sashay around town in a manner and dress that would offend most of these overworked Americans I see everywhere.

People think it is easy being a calm, extremely good looking man. And it can be if you go with the flow, realizing that all the racing around, whether as the CEO of a Fortune 500 or a junkie looking for smack, it all ends the same way in a few decades—a pile of dust and bones.

So why rush it?

I am off to perhaps send an email, water some plants, have a nice swim in the lap pool, a lunch and then a nap.

Trade’em well lads, trade’em well.

Raul Santos, December 19th 2019

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More higher prices, here is Monday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Monday up a quick +50 after an overnight session featuring elevated range and volume.  Price slowly drove higher overnight, drifting up into the open air of all-time record highs.  As we approach cash open, price is hovering in uncharted RTH waters, right up at overnight high.

On the economic calendar today we have Markit Composit PMI at 9:45am, NAHB housing market index at 10am, 26- and 13-week T-bill auctions at 11:30am and Long-term TIC flows at 4pm.

Last week began flat-ish, a slight gap down.  An early Monday drive higher revealed a pocket of responsive sellers and we spent the next three day marking time, sideways. Then Wednesday, after the FOMC meeting announcement and Fed chairman press conference, we began to campaign higher. Said campaign was accented Thursday morning by a President Trump tweet about progress in the ongoing trade negotiations with China.  This strong buying was met with nearly an equal amount of selling before eventually being overrun with buy orders.  Friday we made more highs then drifted sideways into the weekend.  The last week performance of each major index is shown below:

On Friday the NASDAQ printed a normal variation up.  The day began with a slight gap down and after an open two-way auction price made new highs.  The action was choppy.  We cut down through the daily midpoint for a few hours before eventually walking back over it and ending the day in a tight chop, chopping along the upper quadrant in an algorithmic holding pattern.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to gap-and-go hgiher, exploring open air up to 8594 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 sellers press into the weekend gap and trade down to 8519.75 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 stronger sellers trade down to 8500 before two way trade ensues.


Volume profiles, gaps, and measured moves:

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For all intents and purposes it is already the year 2020

One of the things I love about trading futures contracts is the forward thinking involved. A younger Raul spent far too much time thinking about the future, worrying about the future, impatiently waiting for this supposed future I fantasized. These days I am not so caught up in these thoughts, so the contracts themselves are an interesting exercise in planning.

First of all they expire every quarter. And to obfuscate matters, they expire on the third Friday of each quarter’s final month. Then to REALLY throw off the unwashed noob, active traders switch to trading the next quarter’s contract the Thursday one week before the Friday in which expiration occurs.


So last Thursday, most active traders switched over to the March 2020 contract.  I stuck with the December 2019 contract through Friday morning, then I wrote a long post about growing up dumb, poor and catholic. Starting tomorrow, Monday, I will be trading the March contract.

The H20 contract.

Naturally, as I load this contract onto my charts my mind drifts to March. An especially dreary month March is up here in the murder mitten, but it has its own charm. Usually my mind is clear come March, due to all the time I’ve spent high atop the Rocky Mountains, breathing the thin pure air, drinking directly from its streams, eating its fish meat and all around creating head space with hiking boarding and the like.

And if that is to be the case, then I need to handle my affairs, and quickly, so I can pack up and head west.

Therefore I am off to resolve some unfinished business and make use of this fine Sunday.


Raul Santos, December 15th 2019

Exodus members, the 265th edition of Strategy Session is live, go check it out!

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Let us discuss breaking rules

No NASDAQ trading report today. I just closed out a runner long I held overnight in the NASDAQ futures. Holding a highly leveraged futures contract overnight is something I never do because I enjoy life outside of trading far too much to sully it with distractions. Especially this time of year, when the moon is full and pagan x-mas is near.

I haven’t seen a chronic case of hurrying syndrome plague the collective conscious of our motorists this bad in years. It is as if these folks think they can somehow rip back a few minutes of life from the jaws of fate. I have news for them—the only chance to save your soul is a systemic shift in work/life arrangement. You live on the eastside because the housing is cheap but all the work is downtown and out west. Was the savings worth 10-15 hours a week alone in a car?

Some call it their sanctuary.  A reprieve from the phone and family and constant flow of emailed advertisements. Then again, these folks aren’t pressing the bumper of their unnecessary pickup truck into your rear-view mirror.  These folks are taking the drive in, like a slow sip of ambrosia.

I respect that.

I work so hard to not work. The research I publish every Sunday behind the Exodus paywall is some of the most meaningful work I do.  Then I come into public forum, day-after-day, creating a plan. Then I do my job as a trader. I execute the plan, tweeting updates when I come up for air, making my way through life.

No one’s master. No one’s slave.

I consider this work to be my civic duty. To demonstrate how one can engage the global financial complex professionally, from the confines of their home.

I live alone in what can hardly be called a house. I call it Mothership.

Many of the cyclical patterns that society expects a male human to conform to have been cast aside in my pursuit of financial literacy. It did not come naturally. As the son of an immigrant who was abandoned in Detroit by his parents, Elder Raul, a man left to fend for himself with only the guidance of his hell raising gambler and alcoholic of a brother, UNCLE RAUL. Who married an American girl, second of six children, all raised in a disgusting housing tenement on the east side. My parents offered me what privileges they could.

I was kept in parochial schools throughout primary and high school. This was my proving grounds. From K-through-eighth I was educated by strict Lutherans, mostly germanic.  I learned their theology but rarely identified with it.  I studied the works of Martin Luther closely, a hell raiser himself, a man who was regularly “visited” by the devil, who he said farted often.  This always amused me. That the devil has so much gas, because farts are pure, uncut humor for an eleven year old.

The reason I was kept in Lutheran schools despite being so apparently Italian traces back to the town my father immigrated from, a small mountain fort known as Guardia Piemontese. It was a place where northern Italians sought refuge from the demented Catholics, who would just as willingly chop the heads and limbs from women and children then see these souls peacefully find their own way into hell.

Protestants, or Protest-tents as Grandpa Raul used to pronounce it with his thick southern Italian dialect.

At any rate, I never connected with the scripture. We attended church three days a week, and I found it to be an insufferable place.  It was filled with people wearing uncomfortable clothes, sitting hard wooden pews, standing and sitting and standing again like sheep every time their leader demanded it of them.

Their leader…our dear pastor, the one who had an affair with the kindergarten teacher. The local news was all over the scandal. What a disaster.  The decision was made to put me into a Catholic all boys program for high school.

You may have heard of my high school. Their football team was dragged through the news just this fall after reports of sodomy-based hazing occurring in the locker room.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time at this school. I was surrounded by Italians and brilliant young thinkers who would go on to schools like Harvard and Westpointe and Yale. I tested into the school at an alarmingly high intelligence, somehow. This landed me into a full catalogue of AP and Honors courses, right off the rip.  I took to math like a sponge.

This is also when I began my crash course in rule breaking. Being a social fellow, academics soon began to bore me. I needed something more invigorating, mostly I needed to develop ways to attract all those catholic school girls to spend quality time with me, preferably whilst still wearing the uniform. Goodness, I was obsessed with those plaid skirts and white oxford button downs.

The bad girls wore doc martins.

I began cheating in AP Biology.  The doctor who taught the calls would nod off and our dumb asses had developed a system of telephone to send the answers from one especially intelligent student (Harvard) all the way around the classroom to the rest of us knuckleheads. We all aced the course. Meanwhile my best childhood friend, ROBERTO BREGANTE, reported that despite dedicating two-to-three hours at home, studying for his base-level biology class, he was struggling to earn a C grade.

An early introduction to privilege amongst the privileged.

Anyways I cheated, lied, stole, drank hooch, smoked cigarettes, and otherwise disrespected my parents, who were shelling out 6-7k per year, my professors, and society as a whole.  I carried this attitude into public university, which was stupidly simple for the first year-and-a-half, as all the regular kids caught up to what I already knew. I became a real monster, obsessed with pleasure and travel.

The bill came due.

My second semester of sophomore year I earned a 1.6 GPA. To add insult to injury, my parents, primarily my mother (Elder Raul kept himself distracted with long hours of work) revealed to me that in her well-intended hopes of not disappointing her sweet little boy (moi), she had been taking out credit cards in my name to help cover the expenses of my college.

Sweet little boy Raul had been under the impression that his parents were paying his way through university, free-and-clear. This was not the case.

This is was my first reality check. Being a student of finance, devastated that I had unknowingly acquired over ten thousand dollars in high interest bearing debt, I moved back home with my parents, enrolled into community college, and began reshaping myself as a decent human.

It took nearly a decade, and that story, dear readers of this old Raul blog, is for another day.

I started writing this post because I broke a rule I never break last night.  I held a highly leveraged futures position overnight. It paid off. I did it for a reason because listen—sometimes you have to break rules.

We printed a normal day yesterday, which is anything but normal. It only happens less than 18% of the time.  We are at all time stock market highs. Exodus was showing about 70% breadth. I had made a huge gain on the position by being long ahead of the Trump tweet.  I had reloaded when we fell back to the midpoint.  I had scaled profits off AGAIN, and given the context (look at the PHLX semiconductor index, incredible) it was time to break a rule.

Still it doesn’t feel good. It felt like a step into my old shoes. Dirty shoes that have walked through more shit than I would like to admit.

Anyways, like a good Catholic, I have aired my past sins out and already feel a bit better.

I will spend the rest of today working on my character.

The quote on last Sunday’s strategy session came from Frederick Douglass, a true badass:

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

Right on, brother.

Off to meditate of renouncing all these possessions, to focus on being a decent and kind human. On humility and patience.  Have a peaceful and replenishing weekend all, thank you for reading along.


Raul Santos, December 13th, 2019

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Gap down in range ;-) here is Thursday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Thursday gap down after an overnight session featuring normal range on extreme volume. Price was balanced for most of the overnight session before succumbing to a bit of selling pressure around 8am New York.  As we approach cash open, price is hovering near Wednesday’s midpoint.

On the economic calendar today we have initial/continuing jobless claims data at 8:30am, 4- and 8-week T-bill auctions at 11:30am and a 30-year bond auction at 1pm.

Yesterday we printed a normal variation up.  the day began with a gap up in range that was resolved during an open two-way auction.  Then buyers stepped in and worked up near Tuesday high but did not take it out before we settled into a sideways grind ahead of the FOMC meeting announcement.  The Fed struck a neutral tone, perhaps a bit more hawkish than expected.  Buyers came in after the announcement and worked up beyond the Tuesday high.  We consolidated along the highs into day’s end.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to work into the overnight inventory and close the gap up to 8405.  From here we continue higher, up through overnight high 8430.  Look for sellers up at 8440 and two way trade to ensue.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers fill the gap up at 8453.75 then continue higher, tagging 8474 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 sellers work down to 8365.25 before two way trade ensues.


Volume profiles, gaps, and measured moves:

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Compression ahead of FOMC announcement, here is Wednesday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Wednesday gap up after an overnight session featuring elevated range on extreme volume.  Price worked sideways-to-higher overnight, balancing along Tuesday’s midpoint for much of the globex session.  As we approach cash open, price is hovering in the upper quadrant of Tuesday’s range.

On the economic calendar today we have an FOMC meeting announcement at 2pm followed by a Fed Chair press conference at 2:30pm.

Yesterday we printed a normal variation up.  The day began with a gap up that sellers quickly resolved after the open.  Said sellers were met with strong responsive buying ahead of the open gap left behind last Friday morning.  Buyers then worked price to range extension up, traveling up to the Monday midpoint before settling into a chop along the upper side of the daily midpoint.  Late in the session sellers asserted themselves and returned price back down near the lows.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to drive higher off the open, taking out overnight high 8394 and tagging 8404 before two way trade ensues. Then look for the third move after the FOMC announcement to dictate direction into the close.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers trade up to Monday naked VPOC 8420 before two way chop ensues.  Then look for the third move after the FOMC announcement to dictate direction into the close.

Hypo 3 sellers work into the overnight inventory and close the gap down to 8364.  From here they continue lower, down to 8334.75 before chop ensues.  Then look for the third move after the FOMC announcement to dictate direction into the close.

Volume profiles, gaps, and measured moves:

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